Removal of trees provides surprise windfall
VOLUNTEER Landcare groups around Lismore have received an unexpected windfall after trees were mistakenly removed from the grounds of the Lismore Theatre Company's (LTC) Rochdale Theatre earlier this year.
LTC president Sharon Brodie said contractors installing a new fence around Goonellabah Public school removed several trees from the Theatre's land.
However, she said fortunately the NSW Department of Education accepted responsibility for the error, paying compensation for the loss under the local tree protection arrangements for native species.
The compensation not only allows LTC to plant replacement trees but the committee also decided to provide some of the funds to the Upper Tucki Tucki Creek Landcare and Wilson's River Landcarers.
Sharon said each group would receive $500 to buy plants most of which will come from the nearby Northern Rivers Friends of the Koalas Nursery.
"Lismore Theatre Company is delighted that the distress of losing some mature koala food trees early this year has turned to joy in that we are able to provide more trees for the wider community and our native wildlife to enjoy," Sharon explained.
"The compensation we received will be multiplied in the community by the volunteer groups that do so much to enhance our natural environment."
LTC and Friends of The Koala member Luke Kane said when koala habitat was lost it was important to recognise it's importance and "replace like-for-like".
"This will considerably boost our efforts to rehabilitate the creek and nearby bushland and restore habitat for wildlife," Luke said.
Upper Tucki Tucki Creek landcare spokesperson Corena Wynd said thanked the LTC donation which she said would help the group achieve a long-held goal while the Wilson's River
"Our goal is to improve and establish koala corridors and we are focused on planting along degraded riparian zones to help our struggling platypus and other wildlife," Corena said.
Meanwhile the Wilson's River Landcarers are actively replanting the riverbank - focusing on public land in Lismore.
"This money will ensure more trees are planted contributing to the re-creation of lowland rainforest on the floodplain - an endangered ecological community," Dr Kristin den Exter of the Wilson's River Group explained.
Wanting to become involved in any of these groups? Phone Friends of the Koala on 0266214664, Goonellabah Tucki Creek Landcare 0266247383, Wilson's River Landcare 0414223139 or Lismore Theatre Company on 0402651394.